August/September 2022 — During a twenty-two-day eye clinic in September, more than 721 survivors of the Holocaust, Ukrainian refugees, and those in need were given free eye tests and eyeglasses. Led by Bruce Becker, a long-time Helping Hand Coalition eyeglass clinic team coordinator, the clinics were held in Jerusalem, Ashdod, Ofakim, Haifa, and Hadera, seeing more than 814 prescription glasses and 485 sunglasses distributed.
As Bruce reminisced on the impact of this month’s clinics, he said, “Many of the survivors are poor and can’t afford glasses. I heard a lady crying as she left the clinic because we had given her glasses. One young man said he could not read, so we gave him a pair of reading glasses. He returned the next day to thank me and said it was the first time in several years that he could read.”
At the end of the daily clinics, Bruce would also give eye tests to those unable to leave their homes. In Ofakim, he met Lucia, a survivor with a very old pair of glasses that needed replacing. Speaking about his time with her, Bruce explained, “I see thousands of people, but this one I won’t forget. Lucia was so grateful that she gave us what she could — some soda water, which was the best present we could have received just then.”
Each eye clinic is a great blessing to the survivors and those in need. When the survivors’ club leaders hear Bruce is returning with more glasses, they call to ensure their club is on the list to receive them. Helping Hand Coalition is very grateful to Bruce Becker for his work to ensure these clinics are a success. In fact, before returning home, Bruce was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation by the Jerusalem Association of Holocaust Survivors for his “concern for the survivors of the Holocaust, the caring and empathy to our difficulties, and [his] aid and assistance to the wellbeing of newly immigrated survivors of the Holocaust.”